a. Oral Communication
Mooney (2000), at its most basic level, oral communication is the spoken interaction between two or more people. However, what we intend to teach you is that the interaction is far more complex than it seems. Oral communication is composed of multiple elements which, when taken as a whole, result in the success or failure of the interaction. Not everyone is an effective communicator. In order to function successfully academically and professionally, you need to learn effective oral communication skills. For many, conversational speech comes naturally. However, in more formal speech, effective communication skills are essential. A poorly conducted interview, sales presentation, or legal argument could have ramifications that affect many more people than yourself.
Taylor (1989), by becoming an effective communicator you will be able to conduct yourself in a variety of personal, professional, and academic environments with confidence. Oral communication is a unique and learned rhetorical skill that requires you to understand what you say and how you say it. Unlike conversational speech, speech in more formal environments does not come naturally. What you will learn is how to critically think about how you present yourself as a speaker in all occasions and then how to function in a variety of speaking environments.
It involves exchange of massages with the help of spoken words. Oral communication may take place (i) by face to face contacts and (ii) through mechanical devices. Both face to face conversation and conversation through mechanical devices hold an important place in the communication system in any organization.
Face to face conversation is the most natural way of transmitting the message. Oral order, face to face interviews, letters, group discussion, social gathering are frequently used in our daily life. These have the merit of achieving greater cooperation and understanding because the communicator can convey the message both by words and expressions or gestures. Moreover, listeners can make queries if he has any doubt or if he is not able to understand the message.
Mechanical devices are gaining popularity for communicating the messages in the modern business enterprises. The important devices used include signals, telephone, intercom system, electronic paging system and dictaphone.
Merit of Oral Communication
- Verbal communication relatively less expensive as compared to written communication.
- Oral communication is more effective because of direct contact between the communicator and the communicate.
- Verbal communication helps in getting quick response from the receivers.
- Verbal communications, particularly face to face contacts, can be made more effective by supporting them with gestures and demonstrations.
- Oral communication is faster as compared to written communication.
- Verbal communication provides for greater flexibility since no record of verbal communications is kept in the routine life.
Limitations of Oral Communication
- Oral Communication may not be effective when the communicator and the communicatee are talking from a long distance with the help of mechanical device.
- Oral communication is not feasible when the information to be conveyed is very lengthy because the listener will not be able to understand the whole information.
- Verbal communication is not possible when parties of communication are at distant places and no means of communication is available.
- Verbal communication cannot serve as an authentic pieces of records unless the conversation is audio or video recorded.
- Oral communication may give rise to conflicts in certain situations because of immediate response from the listener.
- Oral communication in the form of face to face meeting may prove to be time consuming and costly.
b. Written Communication.
In their book Management: Function and Strategy, Thomas S. Bateman and Carl P. Zeithaml described several advantages and disadvantages of using written forms of communication. One advantage is that written messages do not have to be delivered on the spur of the moment; instead, they can be edited and revised several times before they are sent so that the content can be shaped to maximum effect. Another advantage is that written communication provides a permanent record of the messages that have been sent and can be saved for later study. Since they are permanent, written forms of communication also enable recipients to take more time in reviewing the message and providing appropriate feedback. For these reasons, written forms of communication are often considered more appropriate for complex business messages that include important facts and figures. Other benefits commonly associated with good writing skills include increased customer/client satisfaction; improved interorganizational efficiency; and enhanced image in the community and industry.
There are also several potential pitfalls associated with written communication, however. For instance, unlike oral communication, wherein impressions and reactions are exchanged instantaneously, the sender of written communication does not generally receive immediate feedback to his or her message. This can be a source of frustration and uncertainty in business situations in which a swift response is desired. In addition, written messages often take more time to compose, both because of their information-packed nature and the difficulty that many individuals have in composing such correspondence. Many companies, however, have taken a proactive stance in addressing the latter issue. Mindful of the large number of workers who struggle with their writing abilities, some firms have begun to offer on-site writing courses or enrolled employees in business writing workshops offered by professional training organizations, colleges, and community education programs.
Written communication is transmitted by written words in the form of letters, memos, circulars, bulletins, reports, instruction cards, manuals, magazines, handbooks etc. Written communication generally moves downward. Upward communication in the written form is generally discouraged, or the workers are reluctant to use it. Dynamic management should encourage it by installing a suitable suggestion system under which workers are allowed to write their grievances and suggestions freely.
Written communication involves any type of interaction that makes use of the written word. It is one of the two main types of communication, along with oral/spoken communication. Written communication is very common in business situations, so it is important for small business owners and managers to develop effective written communication skills. Some of the various forms of written communication that are used internally for business operations include memos, reports, bulletins, job descriptions, employee manuals, and electronic mail. Examples of written communication avenues typically pursued with clients, vendors, and other members of the business community, meanwhile, include electronic mail, Internet Web sites, letters, proposals, telegrams, faxes, postcards, contracts, advertisements, brochures, and news releases.
Ironically, the importance of good writing skills in the business world has become more evident even as companies rely increasingly on computers and other new technologies to meet their obligations. Indeed, business experts warn that any business's positive qualities—from dedication to customer service to high-tech expertise—will be blunted to some degree if they are unable to transfer that dedication and knowledge to the printed page. "Whether you are pitching a business case or justifying a budget, the quality of your writing can determine success or failure," wrote Paula Jacobs in InfoWorld. "Writing ability is especially important in customer communication. Business proposals, status reports, customer documentation, technical support, or even e-mail replies all depend on clear written communication."
Advantages of Written Communication
- Written communication is used to issue specific instructions and orders to the subordinates.
- Written communications is the only way out when the message is quite lengthy and it is not possible to convey all the points through oral communication.
- Written communications are used to elaborate verbal communication and to keep a record of it. Written communication serves as a reliable record for future reference and can be used in legal proceedings.
- Written messages are more carefully formulated than oral communication. That is why, they are more clear and specific.
- Written communication is a cheaper means of communication when the parties to communication are situated at distance place.
- It is very difficult to alter the contents of the written message.
- Written communications is generally well through out, because the receiver gets sufficient time to understand and evaluate the message.
Disadvantages of Written Communication
- Written communication is more expensive for transmitting the short message. It also take time to convey the message.
- Once the written message has been dispatched, there is a little scope left for making amends for the inaccuracy that may have crept into it.
- If the written communication is poorly drafted, it may create misunderstanding and confusion in the mind of the receiver, it may create conflicts between parties of communication.
Bateman, Thomas S., and Carl P. Zeithaml. Management: Function and Strategy. Irwin, 1990.
Jacobs, Paula. "Strong Writing Skills Essential for Success, Even in IT." InfoWorld. July 6, 1998.
Mooney, Jonathan and David Cole. (2000) Learning Outside the Lines.
Taylor, Anita, et.al. (1989). Communicating.
Disediakan oleh : Che Khairul Azli bin Che Ahmad ( Alumni Debat UiTM)